South El Monte once served as a watering hole and campsite for Shoshone Indians and explorers in the area. Modern history began with the arrival of the first settlers, the Thompson Party, during the California Gold Rush. The Thompson family founded El Monte Township in the late 1860s.
The area went through its agricultural period and began its suburban growth early in the 20th century. The city was incorporated in 1958. At the time of the split with El Monte, South El Monte contained most of the area’s industrial businesses. Today, light manufacturing remains the city’s economic base.
These companies manufacture everything from home furnishings and household appliances to building materials and farm implements. The city’s mission is to protect and improve the quality of life for our community by addressing concerns, opportunities, service, safety and providing a strong infrastructure while maintaining a viable economic base.
South El Monte offers all business development services including an economic development team, redevelopment projects and a one-stop service bringing in state and federal agencies to make it easy for businesses to locate in the city. These are all under South El Monte’s “public and private partnerships” vision. The city also provides support to business in the area of workforce development.
South El Monte offers a good blend of older and younger residents working with the same dedication and community spirit that the city was founded upon. Both the residents and business community are working together to make the community a better place to live and work.
In just five decades, the city of South El Monte has matured into a viable commercial and industrial base, with over 2,400 businesses within 3.25 square miles. To meet its current needs and in search of other improvement opportunities, the city is now focusing on its growth potential in retail, commercial and residential development, making the community a better place to live and work.